Northowram Pumas Running Club got 2016 off to a healthy start with a 2,016m family fun run, raising more than £1,000 for charity.

Some of the fun runners at the start of the New Year's Day event
Some of the fun runners at the start of the New Year’s Day event

The friendly local club hosted the New Year’s Day event to boost the London Marathon fundraising efforts of four regular members.

If you’d like to sponsor one of our intrepid marathon runners follow the links below:

  • To sponsor Deke and Andrew who are raising money for Sense visit Virgin Money or text ATDB69 £5 to 70070
  • To sponsor Shaun or Adam you can visit their just giving pages. Click here for Shaun or here for Adam. Shaun and Adam are both raising money for The Children’s Trust.

A total of 124 people of all ages took part by running or walking 2,016 metres (about 1.3 miles) or a more challenging 5k route.

The support from the local community was overwhelming and ensured it was a huge success. It is an impressive achievement, being the first attempt at a charity extravaganza for the relatively young club, founded in September 2014.

As well as being a fast cat, Pumas are great leapers – which made the club’s mascot particularly apt for runners welcoming this leap year in style.

The younger entrants proved their potential as prospective Pumas by leaping for joy as they crossed the finishing line.

All 47 children who completed the run were awarded with a finisher’s medal.

Daniel Standeven, 7, and Lucy Thornton, 9, proudly show off their medals
Daniel Standeven, 7, and Lucy Thornton, 9, proudly show off their medals

The most challenging part of the 5k route was the slog up Score Hill, although most people looked to be enjoying it:

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Committee member Ian Marshall, who helped set up the Pumas, said: “It was a dream of mine to see the event take off. I am a proud Puma. I’ve had loads of positive feedback and people asking if we will do it next year. The kitchen team and volunteers were amazing.”

Finish line in sight! Marshal Ian Marshall encourages budding Pumas Daniel and Lucy
Finish line in sight! Marshal Ian Marshall encourages budding Pumas Daniel and Lucy

Following the recent flooding the local area had suffered over Christmas, the organisers were relieved there was no sign of any rain to dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic crowd.

The frosty weather, which would have made a Puma feel at home in its freezing mountainous surroundings, did not deter the runners, and only made their hot pie and peas lunchtime reception even more tasty.

Many family members joined participants to create a buzzing atmosphere at Northowram’s Community Sports and Activity Club, and enjoyed the hot food and a selection of homemade cakes kindly donated by friends of the club.

And we’re off! Puma Shaun Casey gets the fun run under way
And we’re off! Puma Shaun Casey gets the fun run under way

Local businesses rallied around to support the event, meaning there were some fantastic prizes up for grabs in a raffle, including a HD ready TV and DVD player, FatBoy beanbag, £50 golf vouchers and £50 worth of natural bees wax candles.

These star prizes were kindly donated by local businesses Benjamin James Flooring, Aerial Waves, Stromberg Golf and Root Candles.

Local building firm Red House Construction sponsored the event, meaning 100% of funds raised will go to Sense and The Children’s Trust (the charities that Puma runners Deke Banks, Shaun Casey, Adam Standeven and Andrew Tudor are representing in the London Marathon).

Ludbrooks estate agents have offered a free house sale which is being put up for silent auction on behalf of both charities. Any interested parties are asked to contact to find out more.

Mr Marshall added: “We have created an event that will hopefully live long after my legs give up on me.”

Members of the surrounding community are invited to hold the date for next year’s challenge of starting 2017 with a 2,017m fun run.

Rose, 4, leaps to the finish line with mum Kate
Rose, 4, leaps to the finish line with mum Kate

The Pumas meet every Wednesday at Northowram Community Sports & Activity Club to begin running at 6:30pm. We welcome runners of all ages and abilities, with qualified run leaders. Further information can be found on our training page here.

Most girls (generalising a bit here) spent their New Year’s Eve day getting glammed up, I’m talking taking a relaxing bath and doing their nails while having a cheeky glass of wine. Lucky them!

I spent my News Years Eve day running up some very muddy fells. The WoodenTops Auld Lang Syne race started on the hills just outside Oxenhope.

Beautiful scenery near Oxenhope
Beautiful scenery near Oxenhope

Caution! First time fell runner
Caution! First time fell runner

After scaling the slopes of a quarry to the sound of bagpipes it was onto the fells.

Lulled into a false sense of “oh, this isn’t too bad”, after the first mile of gentle path and downhill the next 4ish miles were pretty much a brutal uphill slog. It turns out fell running is much harder than good old road running. If you’re not going uphill, you’re wading through some very boggy fields!

After 6.7 miles I was well and truly knackered. But, as hellish as it sounds, the scenery was beautiful and the atmosphere and encouragement from other, much more experience runners, was really positive. Plus, as a reward there was a bottle of beer for all the runners!

My time wasn’t amazing and I finished about 10 places in front of last place, but it was (I’ll grudgingly admit) kind of fun. And I definitely earned my New Years champagne!

Matt Newton and Melissa Hall put their best hoof’s forward in the Reindeer Stampede organised by Epilepsy Action on Sunday 6 December at Roberts Park in Saltaire.

The 5k fun run started at 10am and saw Matt and Melissa battle with some very fetching reindeer antlers. Giving the windy conditions on Sunday morning getting the antlers to stay put was somewhat of a challenge!

The track was multi terrain and slightly flooded in places, which made it a bit more challenging. But thankfully at the finish line there were volunteers on hand to give out medals, water and more importantly a good old mince pie.

Matt and Melissa agreed with event was really well organised and very enjoyable (as the pictures below show!).


Rocking the reindeer antlers
Rocking the reindeer antlers
Enjoying a cheeky mince pie
Enjoying a cheeky mince pie

Our very own Eileen won the October award at Halifax parkrun.

The prize was awarded to Eileen for a couple of reasons:

Firstly she managed a brilliant 9 (yes 9!!!!) consecutive parkrun personal bests.

Secondly Eileen has been a great volunteer for the Halifax parkrun, turning out on a Saturday morning to cheer on runners.

Eileen at parkrun

Awesome work Eileen, Keep it up!

Most weeks you’ll find a Puma or two at a local parkrun (Normally Halifax or Huddersfield) so if you’d like to give one a go register on the parkrun website and then post in the Pumas Facebook group to find out who’s running where.

Another wet weekend, another hardy bunch of Northowram Pumas battling against the elements.

Sunday 15th November saw four members run the Leeds Abbey Dash 10K. A fast and flat route from Leeds city centre out to Kirkstall Abbey and back.

  • Shaun Casey – 43m 53s
Shaun and his daughter after finishing the Dash
Shaun and his daughter after finishing the Dash









  • Rachael Sherwood – 48m 15s
  • Katie Lumb – 57m 53s
  • Matt Newton – 58m 17s

November has been a busy month for the Pumas.

Harewood 10 and 5 mile trail race

On a pretty horrible (and that’s putting it mildly, we’re talking wind, rain, cars getting stuck in mud sort of weather) Sunday morning on 8 November four and a half intrepid Pumas took on the Harewood trail race. A multi terrain race around the beautiful even in that weather) Harewood estate in Leeds.

Three members completed the 10 mile trail race, with some pretty impressive times:

Luke Cranfield – 1h 11m 29s

Luke doing his best running Fonzie impression









Adam Standeven – 1h 15m 33s

Adam sporting a rather muddy look after completing his 10 miles










Shaun Casey – 1h 20m 8s

And one member completed the 5 mile trail race:

Ally Canning – 47m 27s








And Finley Canning, a young honorary Puma, completed a 2 mile race in a smashing time of 17m 33s



Northowram Pumas Running Club held their Christmas party at the Halifax Bierkeller on Friday 13th November 2015.

The event was the Club’s first social event and thirty Pumas were on the party list. The evening started with drinks at Northowram Community Sports & Activity Club followed by a quick taxi ride to the Bierkeller venue, The Arches at Dean Clough Mills.

The best Oompah band in Britain, The Amazing Bavarian Stompers provided the entertainment for the evening. The Pumas had an amazing evening dancing on chairs with steins in hand and eating bratwurst and chips.

A disco with lots of dancing continued into the early hours and a few of the more hard core party goers made it into town for more fun and dancing.

The night was so successful that the Bierkeller will become an annual event on the Club’s social calendar.

Thank you to Wendy Hewitt and Ian Marshall for organising the event and thank you to the very generous Neil Coupe for the table wine.

If you missed out, then don’t forget to get tickets to our next social event before they sell out!